Peace – Week of May 23, 2022
[Jesus said,] “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Peace. If you could describe what the word “peace” means to you, what would you say? Is it an idyllic setting on the edge of a beautiful lake? Is it the quiet of the house after everyone else had headed to bed? It could be that feeling of calm after a stressful visit to the doctor or with an anxious parent. Peace can come in many forms, and it’s something we all crave.
Our reading today comes again from Jesus’ conversation with his disciples in the Upper Room the night before his crucifixion. He has shared so much with them up to this point. He’s given them instruction after instruction and shares that he will no longer be with them physically. They have so much to process and so much to take in. How could they possibly sort it all out and grasp all that he’s telling them? I picture them leaning in trying to get every word. However, with human limitations like ours, they couldn’t possibly understand everything he was sharing. Jesus knows them and anticipates their reaction. “Peace.” That one-word reminder and gift. Like a parent calming a child in the night, he tells them that they don’t need to be afraid. On the brink of a heart-wrenching day for them, Jesus reminds them and us, that the peace he gives is not the same as the world’s peace. It’s not the removal of earthly challenges, disasters, and heart-breaking events. We live in a time of division in our country, horrendous acts of violence in Ukraine, violence in our cities, and on and on. We have more than enough worldly concerns. Jesus is clear that his peace doesn’t depend on harmony between countries or relationships among people. His peace calms our fearful hearts knowing that we are one with God through forgiveness that is ours because of Jesus. We have the peace of confidence in our eternal salvation. Our peace from Jesus comes from being God’s chosen child, loved and redeemed.
Take heart, my friends. Not only does Jesus provide us with a peace that is greater than any earthly concern, but he also promises to send the Holy Spirit to help us, as he did with the disciples, who teaches and reminds us of all that Jesus said and did.
Peace. It’s a quiet spot on a serene lake. It’s a restored relationship with someone we care about. However, ultimate peace, greater than any worry or concern, is the peace from Jesus of sins forgiven, a relationship with God secure, and the gift of heaven. No earthly challenge can take that peace from us as children of God with faith in him.
Dear Jesus, I thank you for the peace you give me that is greater than anything I may face. Thank you especially for the peace that comes from knowing that you love me and forgive me. Help me reflect that peace to others in all I do. In your name I pray. Amen.
For additional meditation, consider the following hymn:
“It Is Well with My Soul”
Christian Worship (21) 850:1-4